The electric car is very much with us, though you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise, given how few are actually on the roads.

Other than the not insubstantial cost of battery electric cars, one of the major concerns stopping motorists making the switch to a zero-emissions vehicle is range anxiety.

Covering on average around 100 miles before needing a lengthy (usually around eight hours plus) charge, many drivers feel that is too much of a compromise and that an electric vehicle simply wouldn’t fit into their lives. One way of maximising the distance you can travel on a full charge is to alter your driving style. We spoke to Nissan’s Tom Barnard, who explained how to get the best from their market leading Leaf EV.

From using the on-board computer to adjust the car’s interior temperature before you unplug it, to using the car’s regeneration system to harvest some of the energy that would have otherwise been lost in slowing down, there are a number of methods you can employ to make an EV go further.

Whether an electric vehicle is right for you will still depend ultimately on how you use your car. However, with these tips, you could find that a lack of range is not as big a problem as you might have first imagined.

James Baggott


August 9, 2013